"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Christianity and Hellenism

Nearly a decade ago now, I first read Georges Florovsky on idea of the Hellenization of Christianity (see, inter alia, vol. 12 of his Collected Works) vs. the Christianization of Hellenism. This is a topic of perennial interest as a conference on the theme last summer at St. Vladimir's Seminary would indicate.

Early next year, a new book will be published to continue looking at this relationship:

Yannis Papadogiannakis, Christianity and Hellenism in the Fifth-Century Greek East: Theodoret's Apologetics against the Greeks in Context (Hellenic Studies Series) (2012, 200pp.).

About this book, the publisher tells us:
This book—the first full-length study of the “last and most beautiful” apology against paganism, Theodoret’s Therapeutic for Hellenic Maladies—combines close readings of the text with detailed analysis of Theodoret’s arguments against Greek religion, philosophy, and culture and the ways in which that Greek influence interacts with other diverse ideas, practices, and developments in the fifth-century Roman empire.
The book’s larger underlying themes—the continuing debate between Christianity and Hellenism, and the relationship between classical and Christian literature—offer insights into more general late Roman and early Byzantine religious and cultural attitudes and issues, including the relations between pagan and Christian paideia, the cult of the martyrs, and the role of Christianity in the Roman empire.

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